Dave Robson admitted it was a busy Friday at Silverstone for Williams Racing, but it was also an exciting day as George Russell was able to make it through to Q3 for the second consecutive race weekend.
Russell will start Saturday’s first-ever Sprint Qualifying race from the fourth row of the grid after placing his Williams eighth on the grid, although team-mate Nicholas Latifi will be ten places behind the Briton after struggling with straight-line speed down the straights.
Robson, the Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams, said the team had struggled for performance during the one and only practice session on Friday afternoon, but it all came good, at least on one side of the garage, when it mattered later in the day.
“Today has been a busy but exciting day,” said Robson. “We felt that we struggled a little in FP1, but we were happy that we had done the work that we needed to in order to set the car up ready for Saturday and Sunday.
“Going into Qualifying we made a few minor changes to the cars to suit the cooler track temperature and calmer wind conditions. From the first run in Qualifying, both drivers were happy with their cars and were confident to push harder each lap.
“Nicholas was losing time on the straights compared to George and this is something that we need to investigate because it wasn’t expected. George benefited from having five sets of tyres in the session and was able to improve with each lap.
“His final lap in Q3, at his home race and with the circuit to himself was great to see and he made the most of the opportunity with yet another excellent qualifying lap.”
Robson says the attention for the rest of the weekend is to prepare both cars for the two races – Saturday’s Sprint Qualifying race and then the main British Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon.
“With the cars now in Parc Ferme, our attention turns to finalising the plans for FP2 and tomorrow’s inaugural Sprint Qualifying session,” said Robson. “We can’t change much on the car, but there are still a lot of decision to be made, which could determine the final grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
“There is still a long way to go this weekend, but we are pleased with our start and we are looking forward to seeing how the strategies unfold over the next two days.”